Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based news network, has suspended its operations in Syria bureau for safety reasons after its staff faced restrictions and pressure from the Syrian government and its supporters.
Al Jazeera’s Public Liberties and Human Rights Section said in a statement, a copy of which was sent to the Doha Centre for Media Freedom, that Syrian authorities prevented the Al Jazeera team from covering the demonstrations and protests in the city of Daraa, as well as the vast demonstrations in various other Syrian cities, particularly Damascus.
The Broadcaster also revealed how its office in Damascus was subjected to harassment and attacks by stones and eggs for three consecutive days.
"Al Jazeera's Syria bureau staff have also been warned to stop communicating with the Doha Headquarters newsroom, as well as asked to refrain from appearances on the Al Jazeera screen and not provide information via phone." The statement said.
The broadcaster voiced deep concern at "the ongoing violations against media and journalists whilst attempting to carry out their mission and portray the reality on the ground, and strongly condemns the pressure tactics used to force Syrian journalists to resign with the aim of concealing the truth."
It also vowed to continue its bold coverage of events taking place in Syria, stressing that both the network and its journalists will not be diverted from their editorial path or their mission of portraying the truth in line with Aljazeera Network motto "The Opinion & the Other opinion".